Lauren Dorward

Lauren is in France and Spain on her year abroad from University of Aberdeen. She is linked with Aboyne Academy in Aberdeenshire.


Bonjour à tous,

This last month has been so busy, I’m sorry for not updating you sooner! Fortunately, this is the last week of university and exams for me, so I’ll have some more time to relax before I come home to Scotland. Instead of talking about la fac, I’ll tell you about some of the interesting things I’ve managed to do so far throughout my stay.

Earlier in September I went on a boat trip and we saw some whales, it was a really incredible experience. You could see them blowing water into the air, and one of them swam underneath the boat. They left in October to go further south but they’ll be back next year. Another great activity was paragliding – it was a little scary, but the views were great! The instructor did some tricks on the way down, he was swinging us about above the ocean. I also went canyoning with some friends in October, which was a totally new experience for me. Our group hiked up a hill for a while, then abseiled down into a gorge, and followed the river down. We got to slide down some waterfalls, and there were some we jumped off of which must have been at least five metres tall!

More recently, I went on holiday to Mauritius with three of my friends here. Although we were only there for three days, we managed to see a lot. The beaches were very different to the beaches in La Réunion – the sand was a lot finer and paler. You can swim at any beach in Mauritius because they are all protected from sharks by the coral reefs, whereas only a few of the beaches in La Reunion have this natural protection. We saw waterfalls and visited an old Creole mansion, as well as checking out the marketplace in Port Louis, the capital.  

In my free time, I like to go to the beach and sunbathe. Often I bring mes devoirs with me, although it must be said that I do usually end up in the water. The last time I went to the beach with friends we went kayaking and later did some paddle-boarding. I used to go running near the university but it’s too hot for me to do that now. However, as this is an island there are plenty of opportunities to go swimming. People practise other sports here as well. J’ai des amis qui jouent au badminton, et beaucoup de gens jouent au foot le soir. What activites and sports do you like to do? How often do you do them?

I’m looking forward to spending more time at the beach and hiking in the mountains. I’d like to climb the volcan although I hear it’s a tough walk! Do you like adventure and exploring, or do you prefer to chill out at the beach, or do you enjoy both? Do you think you’d like to live here?

I hope you’re having a great time at school and are excited for the winter holidays. There’s a little exercise in French underneath for you as well.

À plus tard,



I’ve written out some of the activites I mentioned above – but I’ve forgotten where I did them. Can you help me match the activity with the location?

Je fais du parapente                                      …..               près de l’université
Je fais du canyoning                                      …..               dans l’oc
Je plonge avec un masque et un tuba           …..               à la plage
Je cours                                                          …..               dans les gorges
Je bronze                                                        …..               dans le ciel

la fac                    an informal way of saying university
mes devoirs        my homework
volcan                  volcano

La Réunion

Bonjour à tous! I’ve now been living in La Réunion for a whole month, and what a month it has been. Classes started two weeks ag...


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